Hey all out there in cyber world!
Despite my feeling under the weather for at least the past week, things are finally starting to look up - what has turned things around for me good you ask? Let me fill you in...
First, today is my beautiful Mom's birthday. She hates taking picture so I don't have many recent ones of here but here's an old one that I love ever so much!
Today she turned 56 and doesn't look a day over 30. My sister and I sent her flowers and candy, which made her happy (one of my favorite things to do). I hate that I can't see her for her birthday often but I know (and she knows) it's for good reason and won't be this way forever. One of the many reasons I love her and my dad - so understanding :).
The other reason for my cheer pertains to my research. Though I've been making progress, sometimes slower progress than I would like, I have continued to feel like I'm not making the kind of progress I need to be making. Especially since I haven't conducted a study in over a year -- just been paper writing and coding. Now, I know at some point there is a transition from advised researcher to independent researcher but as it seems to draw near I continue to second guess not only my own abilities but the overall ability for me to successfully attain my PhD. I have a great advisor that does all he can in any given situation to help me be successful and make my way to becoming an independent research -- including reminding me from time to time that I'm not as much of a n00b as I like to sometimes make myself feel.
Last time I met with my advisor he had a few concerns regarding the work I'm doing...we called them "terrifying questions" that need to be answered before I move forward with planning for my oral proposal. I've been running my prototype on various repositories over the past couple of days and from what I could tell things looked promising...but the true test is feedback from the advisor. I won't bore you with the gory details but long story short the meeting concluded with him telling me "I'm now less terrified." Now, this may not seem like much but the questions I had to answer dealt with data, so they were pretty damn terrifying! But, after looking at what I did and the data I gathered, he was convinced *so far* that things will go as we'd like them to. Yay! :D
This all may seem like not so big a deal but please believe...big deal! I'm making progress and it's that much more likely I will finish in the year 2016. Future Dr. Johnson speaking... :)